My friend Bill from Literate Lives always had a dream to start a Newbery Club. When we used to team teach together, he always said that it would be neat if he along with the students would read the Newberry winner before it was announced. Well his dream came true Wednesday morning at 8:00 AM. Bill asked me to help with organization of it as well as how to help the students be able to talk about the books through wikis/blogs. Wednesday morning we had 17 5th graders show up to begin discussing the Newberry books. Bill posted before me so I am going to tag along with some extra details in case you're interested in starting your own club.
In our school district, we have the availability to set up group blogs, so Bill sent a list of students who committed to the club to our tech coordinator, and he set the blog up for us. The students have a password and it is linked through Bill's web page for the library. This is the second best part of the club, I will tell you the best part later. I love the fact that all 18 students call talk to each other, leave comments, ask questions as well as follow their friend's reading. Bill, Joyce (of Grand Discussion) and I also can talk to the kids. Just last night I talked to 7 different students, and this morning a boy in my class told me thanks for reading his comment.
The best part is that 18 students want to read and are in a group that will support their reading. I just sat back and listened at our first 8:00 meeting like Bill said all students had read one or two books. Today during study hall, two of the club members were discussing which book they would read next: Countdown or Out of my Mind and how they could trade books if they finished in the same time line. They are talking about books. I am excited to try and keep up with their reading-they are even pushing me!